Gold price near 2-week lows on stronger dollar, US data

Written by Reuters | Singapore | Updated: Nov 1 2013, 15:13pm hrs
Gold priceGold India: India's bullion industry is shrinking, squeezed by government rules meant to curb a surge in gold imports. Reuters
Gold price was close its lowest in nearly two weeks on Friday, hurt by sharp losses in the previous session from month-end profit taking, strong US economic data and a higher dollar.

The metal is headed for a 2 percent weekly drop - its first in three weeks - as bullish sentiment from expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep its stimulus dissipated.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold edged up 0.1 percent to $1,324.62 an ounce by 0026 GMT, after Thursday's 1.4 percent slide.

* The pace of business activity in the US Midwest jumped in October, exceeding expectations and US jobless claims declined last week in welcome news for the nation's battered labour market after the impact of a government shutdown on furloughed federal workers diminished.

* Markets fear an improving economy could prompt the U.S. central bank to cut back bullion-friendly stimulus measures.

* China bought more than 100 tonnes of gold from Hong Kong for a fifth straight month in September as demand for bullion bars and jewellery stayed strong, keeping it on track to overtake India as the world's biggest gold consumer this year.

* Barrick Gold Corp said it would stop development of its Pascua-Lama mine in South America indefinitely, a surprise reversal on a project that has already cost the world's largest gold producer more than $5 billion.

* Gold India: India's bullion industry is shrinking, squeezed by government rules meant to curb a surge in gold imports, with banks and others opting to redeploy personnel for now but possibly facing big job cuts in coming months.

* The volume of gold transferred between accounts held by bullion clearers fell 16.3 percent in September to an average 18.5 million ounces a day, its lowest since August 2012, the London Bullion Market Association said.

* South Africa's AMCU union declared a wage dispute on Thursday with platinum producer Lonmin . The union also said its members in the gold sector were voting on whether or not to strike over wages and could do so from next week.

MARKET NEWS

* Asian shares edged down and the dollar inched higher in early trade on Friday after upbeat U.S. economic data prompted some investors to price in a less dovish policy outlook for the U.S. Federal Reserve.